Monday, August 01, 2011


Knapweed, another of the attractive wild flowers which decorate the roadside to Newburgh, North Fife.

Common Knapweed, Daisy family - Asteraceae.
Knapweed is also known as Black or Lesser Knapweed. The word ‘knap’ means ‘knob’ – ‘knobweed’. The scientific name probably derives from Greek mythology in which the centaur (half man-half horse) Chiron was said to have used the plant for its healing powers. The purple-magenta flowers project, thistle-like, from a flower head that resembles a small bristly pineapple and gives the plant its alternative name of Hardhead. The plants where once used as a poultice on wounds and has been also used in traditional fabric dyeing. Despite its purple flower, yellow is the most typical colour of dye that it produces.
This plant prefers soils of low to moderate fertility and is found in a variety of habitats including pastures, meadows, rock outcrops, waste land, river banks, road verges and particularly in ungrazed limestone grassland. Is found on moist and dry grassland, very sandy soil and very acidic soil.

Common Knapweed Flowers.

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